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Cover image for What was your "Deliberate Practice" this week?

What was your "Deliberate Practice" this week?

dev0928 profile image dev0928 ・2 min read

I recently read a book called So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. In this book, the author tries to explain the concept of why skills trump passion in the quest for work we love by coming up with four rules to become so good they can’t ignore you. The book also has several case studies as evidence for the defined rules.

Rule 1: Don’t Follow Your Passion

With this rule the author tries to explain the fact that if one believes that they have magical hidden passion waiting to be discovered, they will never be happy with their current job or profession. Book also tries to prove the point that there is very little evidence that many people have a hidden passion waiting to be discovered.

Rule 2: So Good They Can’t Ignore You

This rule tries to emphasize the importance of adopting a craftsman mindset which focuses on what one can offer the world as opposed to a passionate mindset - what the world can offer us. To become a craftsman one should acquire rare and valuable skills which the author calls it as career capital. To acquire career capital one must do deliberate practice.

What is deliberate practice?

Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, but that is exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands. Deliberate practice is an effort that should make one feel uncomfortable while solving or doing it. In other words it should make them stretch and learn or solve something they really didn’t know well when it was started.

Rule 3: Turn Down a Promotion

Rule 3 explains the power of having control. Control over what one can do and how they do it. Having control over one's work is one of the most important traits when creating work they love. Control cannot be pursued if one does not have rare and valuable skills.

Rule 4: Think Small, Act Big

This rule emphasizes the importance of having a mission so that one can have a unifying focus for their career. Mission can be divided into mini achievable projects.

Final Thoughts

The main takeaway of the book is:

  • Come up with skills that are rare and valuable in your career.
  • Become good at them by performing deliberate practice on a regular basis.

So, do you do deliberate practice? What was your deliberate practice this week?

Photo by Mike from Pexels

Discussion (4)

opstastic profile image

Wow, I haven't read the book but after this summary I definitely will; Newport seems to have identified some 'rules' that I already live by :)

Rule 1 is wonderful. The idea that everyone must have an external, identifiable passion to pursue has always irked me. I have strong interests but they're hard to define, and what I'm passionate about has changed many times over the years. Meanwhile, I've managed to find a lot of satisfaction doing work that doesn't necessarily align with my passion externally, but allows me to practice continual learning, self-improvement, and pushing my edges... which in and of themselves are enjoyable and worthwhile.

Rare and valuable skills:

  • Active listening
  • Not taking things personally
  • Time management
  • Comfortable saying no (this is also a practice)

As a manager most of the time, my deliberate practice has been taking Fridays to steep in technical work and learning, something I love but don't get enough of in my current role. Oh, and lunchtime naps.

dev0928 profile image
dev0928 Author

Awesome! You have already been performing deliberate practice in some shape or form.

kayis profile image

A few yeas ago I read "Badass", which tries to explain how to make users love your product.

The key concepts are "Perceptual Exposure" and "Deliberate Practice".

Perceptual exposure is the idea that you learn how things have to be when you see multiple good examples. It's good to teach things that aren't explainable easily, just see thousands of good examples and you get a feeling for what a good example is.

Deliberate practice is the idea to do things by yourself that result in something that triggers that feeling for a good example.

This should be a sure fire way to get good at something.

The problems are, as the things you want to learn get more complex, it's not easy to define good examples anymore, also the harder the skill, the fewer good examples are in the world. Also, what is deliberate practice for a specific skill?

My deliberate practice this month was learning Spanish with Duolingo and learning Kubernetes with "A Cloud Guru".

juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

Newport's work is awesome. I first found his 'Deep Work' book and after it, I heard his other books are particularly top-notch from the summaries and talks given.

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